PranaFidelity (website) was running a lovely demo system, and Steven Norber’s show systems and demos are always a treat. The man himself is much like his speakers, understated yet effortlessly classy. I was quietly greeted by him when I sat down for a listen, and he gently encouraged me to take a spin in the sweet spot during some very cool records and reel-to-reel. Amongst the tunes heard were some Johnny Cash I actually know well, and tape outtakes from Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.
Words and Photos by Grover Neville
The sound in this room was amongst the cleanest and most balanced at the show, with nary a single frequency response oddity to speak of. Imaging was even fairly good when seated directly in the middle of the room. Of all the rooms on the third floor, this one seemed to have the greatest sense of control and most precisely damped output, with a gentle fluidity, warmth and coherence that sounded just right. PranaFidelity always shows well, and I was impressed even more than usual by this setup because the rooms at the Hilton Long Beach were acoustically unfavorable to say the least.
Analog duties were performed by a Helius Designs Viridia table, with yet another Koetsu cartridge – can you blame exhibitors for using Koetsu so frequently? They just plain rock. E.A.R. was also present, and though Tim de Paravacini is no longer with us, the surprisingly accessibly priced Phono Classic was working its magic on the records. Nary a sight of digital was available in this room, and this may perhaps have been one of the reasons for it’s great sound. A big thanks to Steven Norber for being so gracious and for setting up such a great sounding room. Check his gear out if you get a chance, I haven’t been disappointed by a PranaFidelity room yet.
- PranaFidelity Dhara Loudspeakers – $7,450 USD
- PranaFidelity Purna/Ma Amplifier – $8,950 USD
- Townshend Allegri Preamplifier – $10,000 USD
- E.A.R. Phono Classic – $1,895 USD Black, $2,395 USD Chrome
- Helius Designs Viridia Turntable – $7,195 USD
- Helius Designs Phaedra Tonearm – $6,195 USD
- Koetsu Rosewood Signature Cartridge – $5,495 USD
- Silversmith Fidelium interconnects and speakers cable – $1,195 USD (8ft pair)
- Furutech AC Cables – $2,100 USD (2m)
Photos continue below, and more T.H.E. SHOW 2021 coverage can be found HERE.
About The Author
Grover Neville, Contributor
Grover is a recent transplant to Los Angeles, CA, and a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied music, creative writing, and how to wear skinny jeans. After graduating Grover pursued a freelance career in audio, doing professional research in the fields of Auditory Cognition, Psychoacoustics, and Experimental Hydrophone Design.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Grover worked and lived in Chicago, Illinois as a mixing and mastering engineer, working in genres such as Avant-garde Classical music and Jazz. As a recent transplant to L.A., Grover now works in the music, video game, and film industries.
He is also actively pursuing a career as an independent musician, composer, and producer. Grover wrote for Innerfidelity and Audiostream, before finding his forever-home at Part-Time Audiophile.